The scaffolds are back up at St. Viator Parish in Chicago as the five-year capital campaign continues. The latest project is the restoration of the rose window at the rear of the church, as well as the windows beneath it.
The windows present a powerful image — both from the outside and inside — and now will be enjoyed even more with cleaning and shoring up of the stained glass.
“They are thoroughly cleaning every piece of stained glass window,” says Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, former pastor, “and resealing the wooden framework before installing thermo-pane window coverings that will protect the stained glass from weather damage.”
The latest restoration work is the third phase of the five-year project. The first phase included restoring windows over the altar, in the sanctuary, while phase two included shoring up all the windows on the east side of the church. The windows on the west side of the church are expected to be completed over the next two years.
Preserving St. Viator Parish is a labor of love for the Viatorians. They established the church in 1888 and have staffed it every year since then. Next year, the present church building will turn 90.
The stained glass windows, manufactured by the Frei Art Glass Company in St. Louis, are especially noteworthy. These windows were carefully handcrafted to reflect the 13th century medallion style in deep shades of red and blue, and were copied from those found in the Cathedral of Chartes in France.